Stymie... yes, there are paid bashers and pumpers. Usually work as "consultants" to investing groups, banks, etc. You have to be in the click to join these groups. In the 1995-2000 and lot of them flourished... Loral board on AOL had one that was really good, and I have been told by people in the money biz that he was a pro.
This kind of thing is more common with penny stocks, etc that have low liquidity and easily manipulated. VRTX was a cheap stock with low relative liquidity.